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SEC-450 Assignment Explanations & Samples

The assignments aren’t always easy to understand so I created this page with explanations and samples.  As a reminder, please refer to rubrics before beginning your assignment, as all assignments are graded using the rubrics.  If I haven’t addressed your question or concerns here, please call or send me a message Thanks!


Week 1: Curriculum Development Models

Our first assignment will be centered around curriculum Designs of Subject-Centered, Learner-Centered and Problem-Centered. The most effective instructors plan their instruction following these curriculum designs that are grounded in evidence-based learning theories. There are many types of curriculum approaches, but they fall into three main types: subject-centered, learner-centered, and problem-centered.


Write an essay of 750-1,000 words comparing and contrasting the three major curriculum development models: subject-centered, learner-centered, and problem-centered. Include the following:

·        Explanation of key characteristics of each model and how each model is related to learning theory.

·        Explanation of how each model can be used to meet the diverse needs of gifted students, ELLs, and students with IEPs and 504 plans.

·        Explanation of how technology can be utilized within each model to enhance instruction to improve student outcomes.


Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to questions of learning and student engagement. Therefore, curriculum, instruction and learning has been researched over the past 150 years or so. Our goal for this assignment is not necessarily to identify the “best” theory rather understand how the approaches differ. Because teachers need to be curriculum designers and developers to directly benefit student learning as well as their own professional development. Understanding the models of subject- centered, learner-centered and problem-centered help teachers to answer questions that you should have in mind as you go throughout this course.


Support your essay with 2-3 scholarly resources.


Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located on the Student Success Center. Please review the resources on the Announcements in our class and review these sites: Purdue OWL or APA


Helpful websites

·        Curriculum Design: Definition, Purpose and Types

·        Curriculum Development and the 3 Models Explained

I think this sample paper will help guide you – Week 1 Sample



Week 2:  Planning Assessments

You have two assignments due this week.  The first one is Clinical Field Experience A, that asks you to spend 3 hours observing and discussing with your mentor on his/her delivery, assessments and student data. Be sure to discuss a possible topic and what your mentor expects for a pre-test as that will be helpful for future assignments.


 Write a reflection of 250-500 words that addresses the following:

·        Provide an example of one product and one performance that enables students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in your content area.

·        Describe an ethical consideration regarding the use of assessment data to identify student strengths and needs.

·        How will you apply what you have observed to future professional practice?


 HINT: Week 5 requires a 3-day unit plan. The first lesson plan should include a pre-test. In addition, every daily lesson plan should include 2-3 formative assessments.

The second assignment should be fun as you will create a blog post for other teachers. There's a great online community of educators sharing their expertise in writing, and the topics that get covered offer insights into just about everything, including practice, policy, education technology, and much more. Right now, is the time to join that conversation by starting a blog of your own which will be a great way to network with other teachers in your content area, grade level and/or focus (i.e., technology, assessments). I found these sites to get you started:

Teachthought: We Grow Teachers

This site will help you get started on creating your personal blog – Teaching Blog Traffic School

Edublogs - A great network of teacher blogs, this may be a great place to start!

Teach Junkie – I did a search on assessments and got several ideas. Maybe a little elementary, however, you can choose specific grade level and do your own search.

I thought this was a good blog on assessments - https://www.edutopia.org/blog/assessment-create-student-centered-learning-andrew-miller

Notice the blog from the link above, it is not necessarily written in academic essay format. Of course, proper writing never goes out of style and flow of thoughts is always helpful for your readers. I would like to see some creativity such as including pictures and/or hyperlinks within your paragraphs as your blog should be interesting to a large audience of teachers, not just me. I do need to see the following as your blog will be graded from the rubric:  

·        500-750 words blog post for teachers in which you provide creative suggestions for assessment strategies and use of data in your content area.

·        Describe the different uses of formative and summative assessment methods in your content area.

·        Provide two creative assessment strategies for your content area that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in multiple ways.

·       Provide a brief explanation on how teachers can determine student mastery of content in your area using the described assessment strategies.


I think this sample blog will help guide you – Sample Week 2




Week 3: Using Bloom’s Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge

Two assignments are due this week. The first assignment is Clinical Field Experience B where focus on how a teacher administer various assessments. While conducting the assessments during the delivery of a lesson seamlessly takes a lot of practice. Usually I find that mentor teachers make the transition look so easy. Until you actually do it, don’t assume this process is easy. Furthermore, it isn’t easy coming up with various assessments rather than “observation” or “discussion”.  


During your 4 hours with your mentor be sure to identify a group of 3-5 students in the class who need additional support. If possible, discuss students who have an IEP or 504 Plan. If there are no students with IEPs or 504 plans, ask how they adhere to the goals on the IEP or 504 documents. After your 4-hour observation time, write 250-300 words reflecting on the following:

·        How assessments align to learning objectives

·        How assessments are utilized to measure proficiency within your content area

·        Ways in which your mentor accommodates and modifies assessments for the needs of individual students in the classroom including the students on IEPs or 504 Plans


HINT: If possible, seek out the special education teacher on campus as they have several strategies for you to use in the future. Believe me they generally have great ideas to build up your toolbox.


The 2nd assignment is creating a presentation of your 2-3 standards identified in your observation B, measurable objectives and questions using Depth of Knowledge (DOK) techniques. I highly recommend everyone take your time on this assignment because much of what you are doing with this assignment will be needed for your week 5 and 7 assignment.


For your standards, please include the number and verbiage so I can ensure alignment with your measurable objectives. This assignment will provide additional practice for you to demonstrate higher order thinking skills from your measurable objectives. Please review the highlighted Bloom’s Verbs below and notice how they increase from knowledge to synthesis level.


HINT: These standards and objectives will be used for your week 5 mini unit plan.



11-12.RL.10- By the end of the year, proficiently and independently read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in a text complexity range determined by qualitative measures appropriate to grade 12.


OBJECTIVE 1 - Students will chose one of four 18th century poems and re-create a modern-day version of the poem following the 6-point rubric to identify the theme in the poem and further the theme.


OBJECTIVE 2 - Students will analyze “Oh Captain My Captain” by using the provided chart to list the poetic devices of apostrophe, repetition, word choice and extended metaphor that Whitman uses to create an effect with at least 5 out of 8 specific examples from the poem.


OBJECTIVE 3 - Students will work in pairs to create a short media version of Romeo and Juliet play using PowerPoint, vimeo, Prezi, or storyboard and present to class who will conduct a peer review from the 6-point rubric.


Using the 2-3 standards identified in Clinical Field Experience B, include the following on your 8-10 slide presentation:

·        How to incorporate technology to promote higher-order and critical thinking skills 

·        Two sample measurable objectives, using Bloom’s verbs, that are aligned to your chosen standards.  

·        At least 3-5 sample questions using DOK higher-order questioning techniques

·        An assessment method or tool that demonstrates proper alignment of the measurable objectives with assessments 

·        Title slide, presenter notes, and reference slide

Use the GCU Library to research 2-3 peer-reviewed articles that can be used in support of your content. APA format is not required for this assignment; however, solid academic writing is expected, and in-text citations and references should be presented using APA guidelines


I think this sample assignment will help guide you Week 3 Sample



Week 4: Multiple Ways of Knowledge Demonstration

For Clinical Field Experience C please be sure to respond to my feedback from your previous reflections. Allocate at least 4 hours to observe and coordinate with your mentor on assessment data on your identified group of students, including any accommodations required.  Based on your observations and gathered data, write 250-500 words describing the students including their strengths and needs and appropriate methods to address their needs.


To protect students’ identities, please use pseudo names. It is also important to know that you should never put names of specific students on your lesson plans when you have your own class.

DOUBLE CHECK – Keep track of your observation hours for Verification Form. You will need the form to submit in week 8. You don’t want to get caught without this form at the end of this class.

The 2nd assignment relates to various assessments and differentiating your classroom. Differentiation is for ALL students not just special groups. The whole idea is to provide students’ multiple ways to demonstrate their knowledge (product or performance) which will provide authentic assessment results. Be sure to watch the videos in LoudCloud path>topic 4>study materials before reflecting on assessments.


Reflect on your video choice by writing a 500-750 words to include the following:

·        Brief reaction to the video of your choice.

·        Describe two ways students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills through a variety of products and performances in your content area.

·        One specific example of how a teacher can assess and provide feedback on one of the described products or performances.

·        A brief rationale that justifies how this method of assessment is effective and how the data from the assessment can be used ethically to identify student strengths and needs. 

·        Brief explanation of how information from the assessment can be used to guide instructional decisions.

Use 2-3 scholarly resources to support your summary. Prepare this assignment according to APA Style formatting and guidelines.

Check out this site to see how to cite a video following APA should be done https://apaformat.org/apa-video-citation/

Author. (Date). Title of Video [Format]. Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/


REMINDER: How is your week 5 and 7 assignments going?




Week 5: Unit Plan


This is the week to compile your 3-day mini unit. Using the COE “3-Day Unit Plan Template,”  your chosen 2-3 standards identified in Clinical Field Experience B, align with measurable objectives, assessment strategies, instructional methods, and student needs. Don’t forget your pre-test and one formative assessment per lesson that will help you determine the learning needs of your students.


Pay particular attention to the following:

·        In the “Depth of Knowledge” (DOK) section: Include higher-order thinking strategies, problem solving techniques, and encouragement of active participation. Similar to your objectives, it is essential to use the proper Bloom’s verbs for your DOK questions. This site may help you get more practice https://iowacore.gov/content/depth-knowledge-levels-descriptions-reading-and-writing

·        In the “Multiple Means of Engagement” section: Include the use of technology to allow students to become active participants in their learning and in assessing their progress.

·        In the “Multiple Means of Expression” section: Demonstrate the alignment of instruction and assessments.

APA format is not required, but solid academic writing is expected.


This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.


HINT: Be sure to include a pre-test and a summative assessment and a standards-based rubric. A rubric ensures alignment, provides additional data and avoids assessment bias.


This is a sample unit plan to help guide you Sample Week 5




Week 6: Differentiating Instruction and Assessment

Differentiating instruction and assessment takes time and careful consideration. Meeting the needs of all students is difficult, reflecting on your unit plan will help you take the necessary time to review student needs and differentiate accordingly.


Using your unit plan from week 5, review your unit plan based on discussions with your mentor teacher, student observations, and feedback from your instructor and write a narrative of 500-750 words and include:

·        Resources and materials to address the specific areas in which students need additional support (if allowed, refer to the students’ IEP and/or 504 Plan information).

·        Differentiation strategies for instruction to meet the needs of diverse students based on data.

·        Differentiation strategies for assessments in the unit plan to address students’ needs.

·        Three strategies to extend the students’ learning from the three models of subject, learner and problem centered from week 1.


Be sure to check out our class website sources to get a plethora of differentiated strategies. My teacher webpage also has sections on instructional and assessment strategies you may find interesting http://www.scbraves.org/teacher.htm


Use 2-3 scholarly resources to support your claims. Prepare this assignment according to APA guidelines. 




Week 7: Benchmark – Data-Driven Instructional Methods for Middle and Secondary Teachers

Analyzing student and test data is the focus of this class as data helps a teacher understand areas in needs of improvement or areas of enrichment. In other words, data drives instruction for student outcomes.


Part 1

Using the COE Lesson Plan Template, take one of your lessons from your week 5 unit plan. I encourage you to pay particular attention to my feedback. The rubric emphasizes the following:

·        In the Resources, Materials, and Technology section: Include technology-based instructional resources and tools that are comprehensive, accurate, and relevant to the content area to enhance student learning.

·        In the “Multiple Means of Engagement” section: Consider students’ individual strengths, interests, and needs based on assessment data you have analyzed during this course. Include strategies that foster an environment in which students take ownership of their learning goals.

·        In the “Multiple Means of Expression” section: Explain how you would provide feedback to students from this lesson.

Part 2

Below the lesson plan, write a rationale in 250-500 words explaining how you would collaborate with colleagues and other professionals to design and deliver this lesson (e.g., how the media specialist’s expertise could be used to enhance the learning experience for students during this).

While APA format is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and in-text citations and references should be presented using APA guidelines. In addition, please type double spaced, Times New Roman 12 pitch font.

This sample assignment for week 7 earned a perfect score Sample Week 7




Week 8: Using Assessment Data to Meet the Needs of Diverse Students


This week you will have two assignments of observation D where you will actually teach a lesson and write an essay from an article.


You are asked to deliver the lesson plan created for week 7 or a lesson of your mentor’s choosing to the whole class or a small group of students. At the end of your lesson, ask students to complete an “exit ticket” that includes an open-ended question of your choice about what they learned from the lesson.


Following the lesson, discuss with you mentor teacher how you can improve your lesson delivery and review the exit tickets. Reflect on the experience can improve your practice. All teachers can develop habits of reflection. Observation D - Write a summary of 250-500 words reflecting on lesson delivery and personal reflection.

·        How do you feel about the lesson you delivered?

·        What was successful? How do you know?

·        What did you learn about yourself as an educator?

·        How will you use this experience in your future professional practice?


Mentor Feedback

·        What feedback, advice, and suggestions did your mentor teacher provide regarding the effectiveness of your instruction?


Student Feedback

·        Based on student responses in the exit tickets, how will you adjust your instructional strategies in the future?

APA format is not required, but solid academic writing is expected.


Submit the Clinical Field Experience Verification Form to the LMS in the last topic. If the verification form is not submitted, you will lose 60 points.


The 2nd assignment ask you to read “Meeting the Needs of Diverse Students Case Study” located under the path>topic 8>study materials. You are asked to write 500-750 words addressing the questions below:


·        How can you integrate creativity into your content to deepen learning, enrich concepts, make the concepts more interesting, strengthen problem-solving, encourage risk-taking, and build connections between concepts?

·        How can you use this case study to improve your future professional practice, including using formal and informal assessment processes to guide instructional planning and adjust instruction to meet the needs of diverse students?

·        How can you provide feedback to students that will motivate and engage them more fully in their academic development?

·        How would you use data from formal and informal assessments to modify instruction?

·        How would you approach the student from the case study to address his concerns with the class?

Support your assignment with 2-3 scholarly resources. While APA format is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and in-text citations and references should be presented using APA guidelines.  


Reminder: According to GCU policy, work may not be submitted for credit once the class has ended.  This means that assignments cannot be submitted beyond the last day of the final week.  There are no exceptions for this; the classroom system simply won't allow you to submit your assignments late.  You must have all assignments submitted by Sunday night (11:59PM Arizona Time)!  


It is my suggestion that you work hard to get these assignments completed early.  Be ready to upload on Saturday night just in case something happens like the Internet goes out, computer crashes, dog eats your homework, toddler spills your coffee on your laptop (yes that happened to me).




Thank you for a wonderful journey! Your self-learning starts from here!  "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end." --Ursula K. LeGuin



Updated 6/20/2020

Email Address:         Cindy.Barnes@my.gcu.edu
Phone Number:        (480) 685-0116
Postal Address:         Grand Canyon University